As the country battles through the second wave of the Wuhan virus pandemic, the Indian Railways, just like last year, is helping the severely affected states defeat the virus as it is converting coaches into COVID care wards at war footing.
In order to provide assistance to state governments amidst the rapidly rising cases of the Chinese virus, the Indian Railways has converted 4,002 train coaches as COVID care-cum-isolation facilities.
Taking to social media to share some images of the converted rail coaches, Union Minister for Railways Piyush Goyal said, “Railways is devoting all its resources for fighting COVID-19. Isolation coaches have started functioning at Nandurbar, Maharashtra with COVID-19 patients being admitted.”
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare guidelines dictate that the state governments can use the converted rail coaches when they exhaust their respective medical facilities. The converted rail coaches would see the removal of middle berth and conversion of toilets into shower rooms.
The ministry in a release stated that it was the Prime Minister’s idea to convert the rail coaches into COVID care facility. “As soon as this revolutionary idea was communicated to the Railways team, it operated in mission mode to ensure that PM’s vision executes to help the citizens at the earliest,” the release reads.
Currently, the Indian Railways has deployed 94 covid care coaches in Maharashtra’s Nandurbar district with six virus patients being admitted so far.
It is pertinent to note that during the first wave of the Wuhan coronavirus, the Indian Railways had deployed several COVID Care coaches in various states like Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Madhya Pradesh.
News18 reports that the 4,000 COVID care coaches are built at an estimated cost of Rs 1000 crores and have been stationed at different cities across the country’s 16 zones so as to ensure timely deployment of the coaches whenever there is a need.
Maharashtra, Delhi and Gujarat have either completely exhausted their medical facilities or are close to completely exhausting the facilities and it is hoped that the respective heads of states would keep politics aside and reach out to the Indian Railways for help. The Chinese virus will be defeated only if the country stands united and the efforts of the Indian Railways must be applauded which will go a long way in the country’s battle against the China made pandemic if judiciously used.